I think something will get done. Seriously, they looked so close on Tuesday night and I thought something would get done around the 45 million dollar cap and now I'm evern more confident that something will get done. I think the main thing they all realized is that its much better to have about a 25 game season then not have anything at all. They are feeling the pressure and a deal will be done by Suday IMO.
The NHL season is expected to be "un-canceled" Saturday in New York.
A player close to the talks who asked to remain anonymous told The Hockey News the two sides have agreed to a deal in principle that features a $45-million salary cap. Asked if there was any way a deal won't get done, the player said,
"not that I can see. I couldn't possibly imagine the idea that somebody is going to try to make a name for themselves in the last minute here."
Bettman, NHL chief counsel Bill Daly, Gretzky and Lemieux were expected to meet this morning with NHLPA President Trevor Linden; Ted Saskin, the union's senior director; Mike Gartner, the union's director of business relations; and the union's entire executive committee.
Linden and Gartner met secretly with Bettman on Thursday, a union source said, where they discussed ways to reach a deal.
That led to a proposal for a salary cap of $45 million to $46 million, plus a luxury tax of 40 cents on every dollar of salary above $40 million, to encourage teams to curb spending.
The salary cap represents a compromise between the $49 million offered by the players earlier in the week and the $42.5 million sought by owners. The cap would drop to $42 million if more than eight teams' payrolls reach $46 million in one season.
The terms can be "tweaked" but not significantly altered, the source said, adding: "They have a framework that they are prepared to go with."
Bob Goodenow, the union's executive director, was not expected to take part in the talks. Well-placed sources said Goodenow told the union's executive committee that he could not recommend such a deal, or any deal like it, and that if the committee wanted to make that deal, it would have to do so on it own.
The players' executive committee — Daniel Alfredsson, Bob Boughner, Vincent Damphousse, Bill Guerin, Arturs Irbe and Trent Klatt — decided to do just that.
"Something needed to be done," said Steve Rucchin, the Mighty Ducks' union representative, who was not involved in the committee's decision. "I guess there wasn't total closure even after the season was canceled. Things were happening. I'm not surprised at all."
Sources said training camps could be open by Feb. 28, with a 28-game season to begin about a week later.
Now it's 20 to 7 in the afternoon.
In 30 minutes I'll leave with my wife and a couple of friends to watch Belanger's team (HC Bolzano) in Varese, for game4 of their playoff series. I really hope it's gonna be his last game here...
This sucks. How could so many sources say "done deal" and then today have this happen. :mad:
"NHL Chief Legal Officer Bill Daly told reporters in New York after the meeting that it was too late to save the season, and that the league's focus would turn to getting a deal done for the 2005-2006 campaign."
"We met for six hours today in New York to further explore the possibility of reaching a new Agreement with the Players' Association. Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux joined and participated in today's meeting, at the request of the Union. We talked through the parties' respective positions on the numerous elements that would be involved in designing a new salary cap-based system. The talks were cordial and informative, but revealed that there remain significant differences that need to be discussed and resolved by the parties. No new proposals were made by either side. While no new meetings are scheduled, we remain committed to continue working through the process until a new Agreement can be reached."
"Mario and I were happy to be part of the process and everyone seemed to work very hard together. We had a constructive meeting and we only hope they will continue meeting for the betterment of the NHL and its fans."
"I hope all parties continue talking and come to a solution for the betterment of the game. I certainly appreciate the work Gary and Bill have done a lot more, now that I have been part of one of these sessions."